on 10 June 2015
The premise of the film is well nown. It charts a fictional depiction of the historical fairy tale come reality for actress Grace Kelly who marries the Prince of Monaco. Dissapointingly there is no wedding sequence or background to how they met and fell in love.
We are catapulted into the thick of shady politics between France and Monaco and how Grace transitions from the fairy tale ideal of being a princess (whilst still clinging to being an actress) to being a princess in a world of coup d'etats and threats of invasion.
There is no doubt the film had potential and certainly the photography and costumes are spot on. The film certainly got the historian in me to check facts and for this I am grateful.
Knowing that the film is set in real events helps me to watch it through but the pace is slow. There is little offense in the film which is reftreshing (little swearing, no nudity and little violence). The acting is subdued somewhat but I couldn't have done any better myself.
The three stars are for the final scene (I Am Monaco!) which is well worth waiting for as Grace becomes the princess she needs to be, not just for her husband but for Monaco.It is a tale of responsibility and stepping up to the plate. Film critics, fashion, plot, acting aside you cannot help but admire the grace and perseverance of this remarkable woman.
on 15 October 2014
I almost didn't watch this due to negative feedback, but glad I did. I enjoy films based on true life and especially those that fall in the biography category. i found it a great watch, perhaps because I don't know much about princess Grace's life, die hard modern historians will no doubt pick it apart, but I found it a moving watch.
I may even watch a second time but perhaps not a keeper. At least rent it for a viewing.
It's difficult to know where to begin to review 'Grace of Monaco'. The critically derided biopic of the actress Grace Kelly currently has just a 3% rating on 'rottentomatoes' and is being compared to the equally slated 'Diana'. Personally I didn't find it to be just as bad as 'Diana' but there's still a lot at fault here.
The story basically revolves around Grace being coaxed back to Hollywood by Alfred Hitchcock after marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco a few years before, whilst at the same time Monaco is under threat of having to pay taxes or face the threat of bombing by France led by Charles DeGaulle. When you see the lifestyle on display here you cannot actually feel sorry for their predicament and feel that a bit of taxation would probably not be much of a loss.
The main faults of the film lay largely in the direction and the writing. Ill advised long lasting extreme close ups of Nicole Kidman's eyes and nose whilst she's talking are just irritating, and there's quite a lot of noticeable camera shake - though this seems to be a constant in may films today. Also, at no time do we feel that we are in 1961 instead of 2014, but that again my be because of the wealth on display. It's easy to see why the people of Monaco didn't look favourably on Grace because of this lavish lifestyle.
Cast wise all the principals are actually fine but they never go above that because of the overblown and melodramatic script they have to deliver, however one exception is Geraldine Somerville as Rainiers sister who is completely shocking throughout. It's good to spy the odd British character actor too like Robert Lindsay and Derek Jacobi.
Unlike Diana this film could well turn into a bit of a cult classic, thanks to characters like Hitchcock and the boo hissable Charles DeGaulle. His line 'I will send Monaco back to the dark ages' should have been finished off with manic laughter to round off the pantomine caricatures.
Proof that sometimes critics follow each other like sheep to end up destroying a film, Grace of Monaco deserves some recognition for what it is rather than what we are told to believe, though that still doesn't mean it's very good.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who became a Hollywood superstar, and then she married a handsome prince from a faraway land. Okay, "handsome" is pushing it... he wasn't horribly unattractive. And now being a beautiful princess, she was the most important person in this land's history, and everything revolved around her.
Or at least, that is what "Grace of Monaco" would have you believe. This movie is almost a hypnotic experience -- it's filmed like a very long perfume commercial, with bizarrely precious acting from Nicole Kidman and a story that tries to combine international politics with a Disney Princess plot. It's a glossy, glazed experience with nothing at its center -- like a creampuff that someone forgot to inject cream into.
In 1956, Hollywood actress Grace Kelly (Kidman) retired from a successful film career -- including three movies with Alfred Hitchcock -- to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco (Tim Roth). It's a glamorous, glitzy life, hobnobbing with the wealthy and highly-placed. But six years later, France's Charles de Gaulle is puts pressure on Rainier, and without a military, Monaco doesn't have a real chance of defying the French.
And for... some reason, the presence of an "outspoken" (meaning she occasionally offers an opinion) American princess is suddenly a problem, both for the French and the people of Monaco. And no, apparently Grace NEVER realized this before or took any measures to fit in.
At the same time, Grace is considering a return to Hollywood after Hitchcock (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) offer her the lead role in "Marnie," which would give her some freedom from the "princess" role (and a much-needed cash injection). But as the situation becomes more tense, Grace finds that being the perfect Monegasque princess might change her country's destiny.
One of the first things that one notices about "Grace of Monaco" is the way it's filmed -- soft-focus and full of gauzy, blurry light, like an expensive perfume commercial that drags on for two hours. It adds an extra layer of unreality to a movie that only vaguely resembles what actually happened, and whose main character is as ridiculously perfect and saintly as an early Disney princess.
How perfect was Grace? She was super smart and honest, an amazingly talented actress and a perfect mom; she wanted to build hospitals for the sick children; she figured out a treacherous plot against Monaco, and she saved Monaco by being the Perfectly Perfect Princess Whom Everybody Rightfully Worshipped, and making a hideous speech about believing in fairy tales that de Gaulle just can't resist. I was just waiting for the part where she turned water to wine and learned how to fly like Superman.
And how did this paragon of perfection cause everyone to worship the ground she walked on? Obvious photo ops, pretty clothes, and being taught how to waltz by Derek Jacobi. Yeah, it's really that shallow. And yet the final shots of the movie show Grace surrounded by light, while an angelic choir sings.
The sad fact is that Grace's whole subplot makes no sense, because it's set six years and two children into her marriage. Her "oh noes, I don't know how to princess!" dilemma might have worked if it came soon after marrying Rainier, or if the story stretched over those six years. Instead, it makes her "shocking" outspokenness and social gaffes seem rather ridiculous. Even the "getting dressed for a reception" scene is handled with such melodramatic seriousness that you would think Grace had never worn a pretty dress and a tiara before.
The reason it's set in the early sixties is... well, to be perfectly honest, it's probably because Nicole Kidman is fifteen years older than Grace was at this stage in her life, and the soft-focused cinematography can only hide so much. Kidman's performance is also quite bizarre -- very precious and girlish, with countless silly cheesy lines (such as bleating "I can't do this without you!" over swelling violins).
But Tim Roth deserves some credit for actually making Rainier a somewhat three-dimensional character -- a man oppressed by his duty and France's empire-making agenda. You actually feel very sorry for this man's struggles, and I really wished we would focus more on the political intrigue and the remaking of a nation... than on Grace floating around smiling at the commonfolk.
"Grace of Monaco" fails by making its center a contrived, silly drama about a former actress learning how to wear pretty clothes and smile, instead of the more interesting international drama. It seems more like an attempt to show Grace as a fairytale princess than as a human being.
on 19 July 2016
This is alot better, then critics gave it credit but Nicole Kidman needs to stop with the girl breathlessness voice, this is not acting, the periods in the movie were she forgets the voice is where it shows through she can act, other then that she ruins the movie, did she actually research the figure she was playing?
on 25 February 2015
Having worked in Monaco, I was interested in what Princess Graces living circumstances were. The film does explain her own desires and Monaco's backward, almost Luddite struggle to be independent while France tries to bully it into submission. I didn't come away with much sympathy for either side but I found people there to be nicer than the film portrays. Worth watching but not Ms Kidman's best role.